Today’s bourbon fans are more knowledgeable than ever before. They want to know about mash bills, age statements, barrel chars, filtration methods and where their product is actually made. Some of these items are required by law and have specific definitions while some things are interpreted quite differently from one distiller to the next.
To help quench the thirst of today’s bourbon fan for higher proof and unfiltered bourbons Old Forester Distillery located in Louisville, Kentucky, has announced a few changes to its single barrel program. Old Forester, now in its 150th year, is bumping up its 90 proof offering to 100 proof and will offer an unfiltered barrel strength option for customers that purchase full barrels from the distillery.
“Since our founding 150 years ago, we’ve always listened to our customers and looked for ways to innovate to meet their tastes,” said Jackie Zykan, Old Forester Master Taster. “Proof and filtration are both really important factors in the final flavor and complexity of a whisky, and we wanted to be able to share how special some of these barrels are when the product inside is tasted in raw form.”
“What I love about our Single Barrel program is the chance it gives me and the brand to connect with our fans one-on-one, creating a bespoke product that’s unique to their personal flavor profile,” said Zykan. “And with these updates, we have even more options to help our fans find their perfect fit.”
No Two Single Barrel Picks are Alike
The single barrel pick selection process varies widely from one distillery to another. In the case of Old Forester bourbon fans make a trip to the distillery. Old Forester single barrel customers will taste and choose from among three barrels of rich, robust bourbon at the distillery. Once their selection is made, it will be bottled and sent to the retailer that the buyer is working with to procure their bourbon. The process from choosing your barrel to delivery of the filled bottles generally takes several weeks.
Old Forester clarifies their definition of ‘unfiltered’. The charred barrel is what gives the bourbon more than 50% of its flavor and all of its color. When the barrel is dumped the natural barrel char sediment is removed via dump room screening. And another note on color. In the past, the idea that a bourbon would be cloudy was avoided by filtering through a variety of elements. In the case of the unfiltered bourbon in extremes of temperature, this bourbon may naturally haze or cloud. This is normal for an unfiltered bourbon whisky.
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How Much is Old Forester Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey?
Barrels that produce 100 proof bourbon will yield approximately 200 bottles at a suggested retail price of $49.99. Depending on the proof, Barrel Strength bottles will yield approximately 160 bottles at a suggested retail price of $79.99. The actual price paid will vary based on which retailer you work with for your single barrel purchase.